Prosiectau Ffiseg ar gyfer myfyrwyr bl.3 a bl.4

Disgrifiad prosiect

School Curriculum Enrichment - Space

(supervisor: Rachel Cross)

Nature of project: experimental, software

Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.

Project description and methodology

Public engagement is a powerful method to inspire, enrich, empower and enable learners. This project investigates the use of outreach, particularly using technology, to stimulate interest in Physics for Key Stage 3 learners (Years 7-9, ages 11-14). The project investigates the pedagogy of learning – curiosity for science and discovery through fun, hands on and interactive workshops.

The Trio Sci Cymru Project is a £8.2M pan-Wales science education partnership between Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth Universities, the Welsh Government and the Institute of Physics in Wales. As part of the project scientists and outreach tutors deliver custom-designed science workshops in Welsh secondary schools with the aim to encourage students to continue their science learning and consider science-related careers.

For the literature review the student is expected to research the content of the school curriculum for science taught at KS3, the impact of outreach in pre-GCSE education, and the pedagogy behind successful outreach, researching the use of technology in outreach for science communication.

For this project the student is expected to work with the project supervisor and Trio Sci Cymru team to develop interactive science experiments which complement the school curriculum through inquiry-based activities demonstrating physical phenomena and science applications. The focus for this project is on the topic of “Space”, particularly planetary exploration themed hands on examples of science research to engage, improve, and widen participation. The student is expected to develop a set of experiments / demonstrations which make use of technology (Planetarium, VR headsets for example) and hands on activities around the theme of space, which complement the work of the Trio Sci Cymru team. The planned activities should also be suitable to be delivered entirely online. For each activity documentation should be produced for the student and teacher, describing the scientific and pedagogical rationale of the experiment, how it links to the curriculum and the level. Sample results/ outcomes should be included in the documentation.

A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
As an extension to the project, evaluation of the generated activities in schools or with focus groups may be conducted. Evaluating materials will require ethical approvals and consideration.

When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.

This project is only available as a Y3 project.

Please speak to Rachel Cross (rac21) if you consider doing this project.

Initial literature for students:

  1. Dolan, Erin L., and Erin L. Dolan. Education Outreach and Public Engagement, Springer, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ABER/detail.action?docID=371734.
  2. Houseal, A. K., Abd‐El‐Khalick, F. and Destefano, L. (2014), Impact of a student–teacher–scientist partnership on students' and teachers' content knowledge, attitudes toward science, and pedagogical practices. J Res Sci Teach, 51: 84-115. doi:10.1002/tea.21126
  3. What Good Is a Scientist in the Classroom? Participant Outcomes and Program Design Features for a Short-Duration Science Outreach Intervention in K–12 Classrooms, Sandra Laursen, Carrie Liston, Heather Thiry, and Julie Graf CBE—Life Sciences Education 2007 6:1, 49-64, https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.06-05-0165
  4. Physics education IOP - http://www.iop.org/education/teacher/index.html https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/higher-education-outreach-widen-participation-toolkits-practitioners

Novelty, degree of difficulty and amount of assistance required

This project will require some IT support and access to outreach materials.

Project milestones and deliverables (including timescale)

milestoneto be completed by
Review of outreach pedagogical methods and applicationsend of November
Identification of outreach activities which are target age appropriate, meeting with Trio Sci teamChristmas
Generation of outreach material, testing, refining of practical elements end of February
Accompanying instruction covering rationale, procedure, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.Easter

Students taking this project will have to submit a full risk assessment form and a full ethical assessment form before beginning practical work on this project.